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2011 Wet Season Has Officially Begun

MEDIA RELEASE

The 2011 Wet Season Has Officially Begun!

Friday May 20, 2011

11:45 A.M

 

The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service officially declared that the 2011 Wet Season began on Thursday 19th May 2011 and it looks like it’s going to be a bit of a rainy one! Citizens are therefore urged to properly prepare and exercise caution during this Wet Season.

 

According to the official statement released by the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service, above average rainfall is expected for the months of June and July. It is anticipated that rainfall levels will return to normal levels from August to December. The possibility however exists that the last three (3) months may produce rainfall levels that are below normal levels.

 

The Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service further advises that more than usual flash/street flooding will be a feature of the 2011 Wet Season. To ensure that all citizens are prepared for the possible impact of heavy rains the ODPM reiterates the following safety tips.

 

Precautionary Measures:

  • Before building, check the area for signs or a history of flooding and find out how many feet above ground level you need to build your house. If building in a flood prone area purchase flood insurance.
  • Locate houses and buildings away from flood prone areas such as river banks and flood plains.
  • Do not throw garbage or large unwanted appliances or other forms of white waste into rivers, ravines or drains. Utilize proper available waste disposal methods.
  • Maintain all drainage systems. Clear river channels of debris and over grown vegetation. This will facilitate easier flow of water in the river channel. Keep gutters and downpipes clear of debris and garbage as well.
  • Construct flood barriers where necessary to prevent flood water from entering buildings and homes.

Before a flood

  • Secure all important documents such as birth certificates, passports and the like in water proof bags or sealed containers.
  • Tie down all containers especially those that have explosive liquids.
  • Secure valuables and park vehicles in places that will not become flooded.
  • Make sure all family members know what immediate actions to take to ensure their personal safety. Prepare a Family Evacuation Plan.
  • Secure pets on higher ground. If unable to take pets with you let pets loose so that they will be able to seek higher ground on their own.
  • Develop a Family Emergency Plan.

During a flood

  • Stay calm. Listen to the radio or television for updated information.
  • Move to upper levels of buildings or houses if the lower levels are threatened by flood waters.
  • Turn off utilities such as electricity, gas and water at the main switches. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are standing in water or wet.
  • Do not drive through flood waters. If flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground once it is safe to do so.
  • Do not seek shelter under culverts or bridges.
  • Advise children never to play in flood waters.

After the flood

  • Do not walk through flood waters unless it is absolutely necessary. Be careful of hidden objects and broken glass when walking in water. If you have to walk in flood water, walk where the water is not moving and use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • Exercise extreme caution when entering buildings as there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
  • Gas and fuel pipes may have been damaged. Use flashlights instead of open flames to investigate buildings.
  • Report broken utility lines to the public utility company (T&TEC, WASA or TSTT).
  • Do not touch live electrical equipment in wet areas.
  • If injured seek medical assistance at the nearest hospital, health centre or first aid station .
  • Do not consume food that has come into contact with flood waters.
  • Boil drinking water for at least 10 – 15 minutes before drinking or treat with sterilization tablets where available.
  • Bury all dead animals as soon as possible.
  • Clear all debris from drains and channels near your home as soon as it is safe to do so.

 

PLAN.Properly formulate an emergency plan at home for all members of the family as well as develop plans on what you can do to;

PREPARE.  Prepare your homes and property by putting the proper precautionary measures in place so that you and your belongings will be resilient.

 

If you are impacted by any hazard (landside, flooding etc), please call your REGIONAL orMUNICIPAL CORPORATION or the ODPM at 800 6376.

 

The ODPM has a wealth of information on family preparedness and preparedness at the community level so please contact the ODPM at 640 1285 ext 14240; send us an email: publicinfo.odpm@gmail.com; peruse our Facebook page: ODPMTT or visit us online at www.odpm.gov.tt.

 

 

Issued by:

 

Public Information Education and Community Outreach Unit

publicinfo.odpm@gmail.com

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